The franc was the currency of the Anglo-French Condominium of the Pacific island group of the New Hebrides (which became Vanuatu in 1980). It circulated alongside British and later Australian currency. The New Hebrides franc was nominally divided into 100 Centimes, although the smallest denomination was the 1 franc. Between 1945 and 1969, it was part of the CFP franc.

New Hebrides franc
Banknotes100, 500, 1000 francs
Coins1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 francs
Date of introduction1969
ReplacedCFP franc (at par)
Date of withdrawal1981
Replaced byVanuatu vatu (at par)
User(s) New Hebrides
Central bankInstitut d'émission d'Outre-Mer (IEOM)
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.



Until World War II, the New Hebrides used the French franc and the British and Australian pounds. In 1941, the Free French forces introduced paper money for circulation on the New Hebrides. In 1945, the CFP franc was introduced to insulate France's Pacific colonies from the devaluation of the French franc and the New Hebrides used a combination of New Caledonian franc coins and locally issued notes.

In 1949, the CFP franc's relationship to the French franc stabilized at 5.5 French francs = 1 CFP franc. From 1959, the exchange rate to the Australian pound was almost exactly 200 francs = 1 pound. This rate became 100 francs = 1 Australian dollar in 1966 when the dollar was introduced. The Australian dollar circulated alongside the local currency.

From 1966, coins were produced in the name of the New Hebrides. In 1969, the New Hebrides franc broke away from the CFP franc and maintained the relationship with the Australian dollar of 100 francs = 1 dollar until 1973. In 1981, the franc was replaced at par by the vatu following independence as Vanuatu. The Australian dollar continued to circulate in Vanuatu until 1983.



In 1966, silver 100 franc coins were introduced. These were followed by nickel 10 and 20 francs in 1967, nickel-brass 1, 2 and 5 francs in 1970 and nickel 50 francs in 1972. Only the nickel coins (10, 20, and 50 francs) were the same size, composition, and obverse as the corresponding French Polynesian and New Caledonian coins.

The overall design has not changed since the introduction of the New Hebrides franc coins. The only notable change is the addition of "I.E.O.M" (Institut d'émission d'Outre-Mer) in 1973.



The first New Hebridean banknote was issued in 1921, a 25 franc note of the Comptoirs Français des Nouvelles Hébrides (French Trading Posts of the New Hebrides) dated 22 août (August) 1921. This is a very rare note. The New Hebrides began issuing banknotes again in 1941. These were overprints on New Caledonian banknotes (issued by the Banque de l'Indochine), in denominations of 5, 20, 100, 500 and 1000 francs. The same denominations were issued in 1943 by the Free French Services Nationaux Français des Nouvelles Hébrides.

In 1965, the Institut d'Emission d'Outre-Mer took over the issuance of paper money on the New Hebrides and introduced notes in denominations of 100, 500 and 1000 francs between 1965 and 1972. Unlike the French Polynesian and New Caledonian counterparts, New Hebrides never had a 5000 franc note.

See also



  • Krause, Chester L.; Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
  • Pick, Albert (1994). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (7th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9.
  • Reserve Bank of Vanuatu. "Brief History of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu". Archived from the original on 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
Preceded by:
CFP franc
Ratio: at par
Note: circulated with the Australian pound; Australian dollar after 1966
Currency of New Hebrides (now Vanuatu)
1969 – 1981
Succeeded by:
Vanuatu vatu
Reason: independence
Ratio: at par